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Unofficial United States Postage Stamps on Hindu Gods – Stirs Debate

An Atlanta-based company has issued seven postage stamps carrying images of Sri Krishna, Shiva-Parvati, Sai Baba, Muruga, Lord Venkateswara, Ganesha and Lakshmi. The company claims that they can be used as valid US postage stamps and are priced at 44 cents each, can also be bought on a commemorative sheet priced at $18.99. But the stamps do not find any mention in the official US Postal Service (USPS) catalog.

Customized US Postage Stamps

There is nothing new in the whole project. USPS allows people to customize stamps – print stamps with photos and images that you like as long as it is not copyrighted but after making the relevant payment to USPS. (You can find more details of customized postage service of USPS here at the official website of United States Postal Service.)

The US-based company is just making use of this feature of (USPS) for business purpose. They have also the option for you to print your own picture on US stamps.

You pay for the printing cost to the company and if you use it for postage purpose you will have to pay the required fee to USPS.

The Controversy

This became an issue after some Hindu organizations and individuals started sending out emails suggesting that USA Government Released New Postage Stamps on Hindu Gods Which Indian Secular Government Won’t Do. Some people objected to it pointing out the stamps were unofficial.

I myself received a couple of emails with the image of stamps suggesting other governments and people respect Hindu culture but not the Indian Government.

A Needless Controversy

1) The Stamps were not issued by the official postal agency of United States.

2) In India, India Post regularly issues stamps of important personalities and saints associated with Hinduism during their centenary and other important dates. Special stamps are also released on auspicious and festive occasions associated with Hindu Religion.

The website of the Atlanta-based company is USA-Postage.com and they are just running a business – customizing US Postage stamps, which you can do at your home with a primary knowledge of Photoshop (also a decent photo printer).